The usual peace and quiet of the evening in the Chain Lake neighbourhood was disrupted by explosion after explosion on Friday, April 12.
At 7:45 p.m., Hayes Creek Volunteer Fire Department dispatcher, Gail Dickson, received a call from John Crawford, resident of the area reporting that a neighbours home was on fire.
Dickson called out the fire fighters available who arrived on scene by 8:10 p.m.
The cabin located at 3591 Princeton-Summerland Road, was fully engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading throughout the property.
At the time of his call, Crawford had let dispatch know that he had the lone occupant with him so the firefighters knew they had just to concentrate on putting out the fire.
Eight volunteers worked fiercely to contain the blaze, Herman Zorn, Peter Grizer, Grant Gould and Rick Law headed up the battle.
‘We were horrified,” said Cliff Glover. He and wife Katherine are residents of the area. “We could have lost everything—had the wind come back up the fire would have gone straight up the hill or could have wrapped around the lake.”
Fighting the blaze was extra difficult due to the fact the property contained
outbuildings, numerous vehicles, old lumber and large amounts of debris. Fuel tanks, propane tanks and tires were exploding left, right and centre adding to the blaze that had spread to the trees as well.
FortisBC was called out to disconnect the power, Princeton RCMP and BC Ambulance attended and remained on scene as back-up for the firefighters.
Six thousand gallons of water from the engine and tanker plus untold thousands more pumped out of Chain Lake was used to fight the fire, finally contained by 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
The volunteerfirefighters returned two times on Saturday to deal with “hot spots” due to the amount of debris on the property.
It was learned that the owner of the home had a dog that had perished in the fire, however thankfully the volunteers had been able to save all the residences surrounding the property.
“We are so proud of our fire department and so glad there was no wind,” said Glover.
“Kudos to our fire department, they were excellent,” he said.